If it’s the bay you’re heading for, then St Kilda is the obvious destination. The former seaside resort has an air of shabby gentility, which enhances its current schizophrenic reputation as a sophisticated yet seedy suburb with a raging nightlife. Running from St Kilda Road down to the Esplanade, Fitzroy Street has a reputation as Melbourne’s red-light district – usually pretty tame, though late at night not a comfortable place for women alone – and epitomizes this split personality, since it’s lined with dozens of cafés and bars. On weekend nights, these and others throughout St Kilda are filled to overflowing with a style-conscious but fun crowd.

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